Our stand at the NEC in Birmingham during the Naidex event!

My Naidex Experience

Written by podcast team member Luke, postscript by podcast staff lead Adam

On Wednesday the 22nd of March 2023, I travelled by train down to Birmingham to attend the annual Naidex Conference at NEC, where the 2 day event is usually held every year. I was supported by the Trips And Travel group Coordinator on the Our Lives Our Way Project, that’s based at Bradford Talking Media, and we both had a great time learning lots of things on the day.

I met up with a few of the members of the People First Keighley & Craven Podcast Team, to whom were running a stand there with live podcasts there and we interviewed some interesting speakers who were also attending the conference, one of which included a disabled Advocate called Samantha Renke. I also walked round all the other stalls and I was a little let down to discover that the event was not really geared up for people with hidden disabilities, for example registered blind. However, I did find a hidden disabilities stand being run by two lovely ladies who were giving away lanyards and leaflets. I picked up some useful information and I really thought the experience was all well worth the day trip.

For next year, I suggested with BTM that we take an OLOW stand there next year, travel down on the Tuesday and stay for two nights in a nearby hotel to make it more bigger and better, because, I did find the one day 6 train journey there and back also very tiring.

Adam: What an amazing experience Naidex was for our podcast. We managed to interview 56 different people over the course of the 2 days, which have all been released across 2 podcasts. It’s really important that we heard Luke’s perspective of the event as someone who is registered blind, because it’s a unique experience of the event and it’s so important that his voice is heard. Thank you for your hard work during your day at Naidex Luke, and I hope that you get to visit over multiple days next time as well!